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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in Fou de bassan (9)

Thursday
Jun162016

Northern Gannet THE BOUQUET

Northern Gannet THE BOUQUET (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM @400mm. ISO 1600, f/8 @ 1/3,200s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another Gannet from the first day of my Gannets Galore workshop. This one in heavy fog. Foggy images lack contrast, and look washed-out when exposed properly.

You can adjust the contrast several ways, to reflect how much fog you would like in the image; I used the levels tool (in Photoshop), and adjusted the darks by grabbing the left slider and dragging it to the right. Hold down the "ALT" Key while moving the slider, and you will see when the darks start to clip. If you move the slider far enough to clip the darks, you loose details in the darkest parts of the image. Be aware that this might increase any noise in the image; An effect that is amplified if you start with a poorly exposed image.

 

Wednesday
May132015

Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island Photo Workshop Update

Northern Gannet SEAWEED IN YOUR FACE (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 200-400mm F4 L IS USM XT, (@274mm). ISO 1,000, F4.5 @ 1/4,000s Manual. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Northern Gannets of Bonaventure Island

Gannets Galore

Photo Safari & Expedition

June 5-7, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Sold Out!

June 8-10, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Sold Out!

June 11-13, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Only 2 Spots left!

A spectacle not to be missed! This is, by far, the very best workshop to master your birds in flight technique. I have invested well over a year of my life at this site, so I know the birds and I know the site intimately, and I know the best way to maximize the photographic opportunities in any wind or weather. I know, and work with, the people at the park & in the village, so from having our gear hauled to the colony in an ATV, to getting special access, I have all of the bases covered. I have hosted over one thousand photographers for this adventure and it  truly is my favourite and most productive workshop.

Join Canon's Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds at the largest Northern Gannet colony in the world. Bonaventure Island, off the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, is home to more than 55,000 nesting pairs of Northern Gannets and it is such a beautiful place that National Geographic Traveler Magazine ranks Gaspé number three tourism destination in the world (Nov./Dec. 2009). You haven’t really seen a Gannet until you see the activity at a breeding colony. Bonaventure Island is perhaps one of the world’s best places to teach avian flight technique. Other photographic opportunities will include all aspects of breeding behavior; courtship display, bowing (territorial display), sky pointing, fencing (two mates clashing their bills together while pointing skyward), mutual preening and copulation. Most of the nests will be occupied and will contain babies at various stages of development. In June, we’ll be feet away from hatching eggs and adults feeding their young on their nests. The workshop is timed to coincide with the annual Caplin run in June, so we should have plenty of opportunities to photograph these magnificent birds diving; sometimes forming huge diving funnels containing thousands of birds. Other photographic possibilities include thousands of nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Murres, Black Guillemots, Rozorbills, Gulls, Grey Seals and various Whales. Highlights will include a daily four hour adventure on a 24 foot Zodiac Hurricane (weather permitting). We should have ample opportunities to photograph Gannets diving and feeding in large funnels.

More information and sign-up for Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island Photography Workshop HERE

Gannets Galore: A recent trip to the gannet colony on the Gaspe’s Ile Bonaventure with Chris Dodds proved to be all that I could have hoped for.  The colony is large, active and readily accessible, Chris’ familiarity with the birds and how they would react to the frequent changes in weather and wind direction gave us access to some pretty unique shooting opportunities, and his knowledge of the area and personal connections within the local community allowed us to get to the island when construction on the town’s only pier could easily have prevented us from getting there.  This, combined with Chris’ almost unique ability to teach the principles of photography at the simplest and most complex levels, made this a trip that should not be missed.
 
Steve Goodman Denver, Colorado
, USA

Read more TESTIMONIALS HERE

Tuesday
Jun112013

Canon EOS 1D X Firmaware Version 1.2.4 and Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island mini report

Northern Gannets LOVING  (Morus bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA ) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D X, 70-300mm F4-5.6 L IS USM @ 277mm Hand Held ISO 800, f/7.1 @ 1/1,600s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

I'm just in the door from my Gannets Galore workshops and can honestly say that the Northen Gannet colony on Bonaventure Island is better than ever! We had a mix of weather and I enjoyed some fabulous company from the wonderful participants. The conditions are so good that I have decided to return and have just announced an August 21-23, 2013 Gannets Galore workshop / photo safari. If you want to experience a true photographer's paradise and learn tons about bird photography while there, then this is the trip for you - I guarantee it! This is one of those workshops that 500 or 600mm lenses are not obligatory to make some killer images! No one on earth knows the place better than I do! Do consider joining me and read more about the August 21-23, 2013 Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island, Quebec HERE.

TESTIMONIALS

Thanks again for a great workshop. The gannets were awesome and I am really, really happy with my pictures. You did a great job of making sure everything went smoothly and I appreciated your help with camera settings, techniques, etc. I had high expectations going into the workshop and I can honesty say that my expectations were exceeded and then some.

Ian Nicholson Fredericton, NB, Canada


I had a wonderful time on your Northern Gannet workshop on Bonaventure Island. I only wish I could go back now, knowing what I learned from you and using it to produce even better and memorable images. You were an inspiration and very patient with me. It has whet my appetite for more and I'm thinking of your Texas workshop next.
I especially like the way you showed respect for the gannets and the park in general. I haven't stopped talking about my experience and the not-so-difficult climb to the colony, about the zodiac on the sea, about the Kawasaki mule taking our gear up so we didn't have to, about the beauty of Perce, about our leader; a kind and expert photographer.

John L. Block Dollard des Ormeaux, QC, Canada

 

Canon EOS 1D X Firmaware Version 1.2.4 released

Canon has released a firmware update Version 1.2.4 for the EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera. It incorporates the following improvements and fixes:

1. Improves the speed of the camera’s acquisition of focus when using a Canon Speedlite’s AF-assist beam.
2. Reduces the time it takes to display the metering result on the LCD or Viewfinder when the meter has been activated.
3. Fixes a phenomenon in which a “Caution 02” message is unnecessarily recorded in the camera status log.
4. Fixes a phenomenon in which continuous shooting pauses when using a Canon Speedlite.
5. Fixes a phenomenon, when the Canon GP-E1 is attached, in which the GPS device settings are reset to default settings when the camera has been powered off.

Download the new firmware HERE

Friday
May042012

More best of Texas Leguna Seca Ranch Rocked

White-tailed Hawk (immature) Landing (Buteo albicaudatus; Buse à queue blanche; WTHA) Leguna Seca Ranch, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 640, f/5.6 @1/2,500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

Here's more from my recent and hugely successful Best of Texas workshop/safari (be sure to visit my last post about the Harris's Hawk if you missed it). This is an immature White-tailed Hawk from the new and improved raptor blind at Leguna Seca Ranch. The variety of raptors circling was awesome! This immature White-tailed Hawk was the first to arrive for the chicken parts we scattered around the base of our perch; it caught us all by surprise while we were photographing a pair of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. The ranch continues to evolve into photographic bliss - largely thanks to it's pro-active owner, Gene.

Be sure to sign-up early for next year's BEST OF TEXAS Workshop/Safari April 22-26, 2013

White-tailed Hawk (immature) Portrait (Buteo albicaudatus; Buse à queue blanche; WTHA) Leguna Seca Ranch, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 500mm F4 L IS  & 1.4X Extender III. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 640, f/6.3 @1/2,500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

White-tailed Hawk (immature) Streching (Buteo albicaudatus; Buse à queue blanche; WTHA) Leguna Seca Ranch, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 640, f/5.6 @1/2,500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

Upcoming workshops/Safaris

Northern Gannet landing with sea weed (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 L IS. ISO 250, f/16 @ 1/250s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Amazingly, there's still room for you to join my June 4-6, 2012 Gannets Galore (and so much more) Workshop; it's what I consider to be the very best bird photography workshop if you want to learn everything there is to know about photographing birds in flight. The four hour Zodiac ride (weather permitting) each morning is without parallel and you can photograph birds from dawn to dusk for all three days! Everyone who has attended this workshop has come home with improved skills, and awesome portfolio and memories of an awesome adventure! Be sure to have a look at the Gannets Galore workshop page and read all of the testimonials. MANY PRIZE WINNING IMAGES HAVE BEEN MADE ON THIS WORKSHOP AND IT HAS ATTRACTED MANY OF THE TOP BIRD PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE AS ATTENDEES. Nobody knows the island (photographically) like I, as I have spent more than a year's worth of time photographing there.

REGISTER HERE

Northern Gannet landing with sea weed (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MKIII, 70-200mm F2.8 IS, (@200mm). ISO 400, F5.6 1/2500s Manual. Canon 580 EXII Flash in Manual - full power. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Friday
Sep162011

Kudos, Jobu Jr. 3 and Workshop Updates

Northern Gannet FEED ME MAMA seven weeks old (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS, 2X Teleconverter III. Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 Full Frame. ISO 400 f/13 @ 1/500s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Despite a rather wet and cold summer, which halved the nesting success of the Gannets on Bonaventure Island, we had a fantastic workshop (even at such a successful Gannet colony, bad years happen; there's nothing to be alarmed about). The surviving baby gannets were located at the top of hills, making them easier to isolate against the deep blue of The Gulf of the Saint Lawrence. We enjoyed calm water,fine weather and diving Gannets - loads of fun & I can't wait to get back there in the spring!

Jobu Jr. 3

My trusted Jobu Jr. 3 gimbal head continues to be my “go to” tripod head for any lens I choose from 70-300 through 800mm. It's simply rock solid and offers a much better lock-down when the knobs are tightened; no creeping like the 4th Generation Designs Mongoose Head. The knobs are easy to grip and rubberized which helps in cold and wet conditions and the brilliant design of lens plate clamp knob keeps it from getting in the way! Easy to use, light and small - it's still half the size, half the weight and half the price of the full Wimberley Head II. This is the ONLY gimbal head I have used since January, and I don't see any reason to use anything else out there - ever! SAVE 15% OFF your purchase at the JOBU store and support this site just by using the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE.

Kudos

"I want to thank you for a great "Gannets Galore" workshop. The Gannets and Bonaventure Island were an incredible experience for me. The workshop was enhanced by your knowledge of the birds behavior and great relationship with the officials on the Island gained over more than 25 years. It's incredible that you are able to recognize individual birds, remember their nesting sites, and predict their behavior so well. I felt that I had made a wise decision when I decided to experience Bonaventure with you.
The highlight of the shoot was the early morning Zodiac trips. I've always been fascinated by Gannets diving for food and experiencing it from the boat, so close to them, was something I'll never forget. In addition the photography from the Zodiac was great.
I'm in the process of editing the thousands of images I photographed. I appreciate your expert advice on how I should improve my photography. Your technical grasp of digital photography and the toys used to create it was another benefit of doing this workshop with you.... Best regards, Shelly"

- Seldon "Shelly" Goldstein Boynton Beach | FL | USA

Workshop updates

Moose & Fall Colors of Maine. September 26-30, 2011 - a fabulous five day workshop/safari with Christopher Dodds and co-leader, E.J. Peiker.

Snow Geese Galore October 22 & 23, 2011 weekend and October 24-28, 2011 five day.

Winter Snowy Owl Prowls January and February, 2012

 

Tuesday
Jun212011

Kudos and Gannets Galore September 7-9, 2011 Announced

Northern Gannet Portrait on the sea (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MK IV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS. ISO 1,250 f/5.6 @ 1/1,250s Manual. Hand-held from a Zodiac. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Northern Gannet Missing Man (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MK II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L @ 70mm. ISO 400 f/6.3 @ 1/1,000s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

September 7-9, 2011 Gannets Galore Announced

By popular demand, I'm thrilled to announce that I will be heading back to Bonaventure Island from September 7-9, 2011. This is the best time to photograph baby Gannets up-close and personal. Workshop/Safari includes four nights accommodation, park access and 3 highly sought after Zodiac voyages under the seabird colony (weather permitting). REGISTER FOR THE SEPTEMBER 7-9, 2011 GANNETS GALORE PHOTO SAFARI/WORKSHOP HERE.

KUDOS

"In June of this year, I joined Chris Dodds on one of his Gannets Galore Workshops on Ile Bonaventure in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Quebec. Wow! What a place. Not only is the area surprisingly beautiful, the sheer number of Gannets nesting on this island is mind boggling - several hundred thousand Northern Gannets. In addition to Gannets there are other species photographable along the sea cliffs which Chris's participants get to experience like no others. Under a special clause, exclusive to Chris's workshop a zodiac with the participants is allowed to get up close to the sea cliffs to photograph Razorbill, Common Murre, Black-legged Kittiwake, Harlequin Duck and much more in their habitat. In addition, we spotted Blue Whale and Minke Whale and photographed Gray Seal and Humpback Whale. Nice touches like transportation of photo gear the 1.8 miles to and from the nesting colony really make this a worthwhile and productive trip. For seabird lovers, Ile Bonaventure is a must and the way to experience it is with Chris Dodds who has nearly 30 years of experience on this island."           - E.J. Peiker, Nature Photographer

Sunday
Feb132011

F is for Fabulous

Northern Gannets SPOONING (fencing = pair bonding), Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 500mm F4 L IS, Tripod & Wimberley Head II ISO 400, F18 1/200s Manual. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

F is for FABULOUS!

I’ve been asked countless times if there is a formula to creating a great image. I’ve spent countless hours scrutinizing my favorite images to try to describe to myself why I connect with them so deeply and make such an emotional response to them. I’m far from finished, but here’s my first attempt at describing a system that may help you; it’s how I create images – in a subconscious way. It’s what makes images a success to me, and to the viewer. Keep in mind that this is a working copy, and I might elaborate more in a longer post in the future.

You have to start by understanding my three Fs of FABULOUS: Fill, Form and Feeling. Every image out there contains at least one of these three ingredients; a photojournalist’s images contain more FILL and FEELING, a fine art or abstract photographer tends to feature the FORM and greeting card photographers often capture FEELING.

Here’s the key: Your most successful images will generally contain a careful balance of all three; Fill, FORM and FEELING.  The Northern Gannet image above is a very careful balance of Fill (it’s about the Northern Gannets), Form (the composition, pose and lines) and Feeling (most images with two subjects evoke some sort of emotion or feeling).

 

Save 25% on your Season pass to Point Pelee National Park of Canada

Buy or renew your annual pass to Point Pelee National Park of Canada and save 25%. From February 1, until March 31, 2011, take advantage of this great offer to start your preparations for this year's spring migration. Simply call (519) 322-2365, extension 200 from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. I always recommend the Family (or group) pass, as this let's you enter through the automated gate and skip the sometimes lengthy line-ups each morning. 

Wednesday
Mar102010

Gannets Galore Bird Photography Safari / workshop June 10-12, 2010 & August 13-15, 2010 Just Announced!

Northern Gannets SPOONING (fencing = pair bonding), Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D S MKIII, 500mm F4 IS Gitzo 1325 tripod, Wimberley Head II.  ISO 400, F18 1/200s Manual. Full Frame. Click HERE to purchase a print or license an image for publication.

Northern Gannet Painted Flight, Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MKIII, 70-200mm F2.8 IS, 1.4X II Tele-Converter (270mm) Hand-held from Zodiac.  ISO 250, F8 1/1600s Manual. Full Frame. Click HERE to purchase a print or license an image for publication.

Gannets Galore; New Dates Added!

Due to the overwhelming popularity of my Gannets Galore Photo Safari / Workshop series (both the June 14-16, 2010 and 18-20, 2010 are SOLD OUT), I've added some new dates. June 10-12, 2010. June is the best time to photograph the thousands of Razorbills, Common Murres, Black Legged Kittiwakes, Grey Seals and thousands of adult Gannets in perfectly prime breeding plumage. Please see HERE for more information.
August 13-15, 2010 still has a few spots left; simply the best time to photograph the many thousands of baby Northern Gannets - some at just arms length.
All of the Gannets Galore series workshops / safaris include four nights hotel, 3 four hour Zodiac excursions under the colony (weather permitting) with breakfast once landed on the island, three full days photographing at the colony and expert instruction and guiding by Christopher Dodds (more than 350 days experience guiding guests on Bonaventure Island). Did I mention the motorized transportation to the colony for your heavy camera gear? - that’s just one of the little bonuses when traveling with Chris (smile).

Be sure to read the many testimonials found HERE; all real people, from real places!

Tuesday
Mar022010

How to age the Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)

 

Northern Gannet second year Dorsal View, Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 5D MKII, 300mm F2.8 IS Hand-held.  ISO 250, F4 1/2500s Manual. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Northern Gannet third year Dorsal View, Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 5D MKII, 300mm F2.8 IS Hand-held.  ISO 250, F3.5 1/2500s Manual. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Northern Gannet fourth year Dorsal View, Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 5D MKII, 300mm F2.8 IS Hand-held.  ISO 250, F4 1/2500s Manual. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Northern Gannet fifth year Mature Adult Dorsal View, Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 5D MKII, 300mm F2.8 IS Hand-held.  ISO 250, F4.5 1/2500s Manual. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

After spending more than 350 days ,over the years, up at the Northern Gannet colony on Bonaventure Island, I have quite a collection of images. Last year, I found a new spot to photograph vertical dorsal views of these striking seabirds. Spending time with your subject is the best way to study and learn about their every behavior. Always remember to try to cover every aspect of behavior and every age possible. Remember that you can turn your camera to vertical for a fresh perspective.

There are still a couple of spots left for the June 18-20, 2010 Gannets Galore Photo Safari Workshop

Viola Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

If you haven't done so already, there's still time to enter this prestigious competition. Entries can be submitted HERE until 9AM, Monday, March 8th, 2010. Be sure to read the new rules, most notably the need to submit images from a DSLR with a minimum 10 Mega pixel resolution. Why the new rules? ... Who knows? You are allowed to lightly crop your image, so perhaps the rule would have been better stated as a minimum file size, instead of making every image from the single most popular wildlife photography camera in recent history, the Canon EOS 1D Mark II (and the EOS 1D Mark IIN), ineligible.

Even when this was called the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year, I though (and still do) that this competition should be called the wildlife IMAGE of the year competition. I really do feel that such a prestigious title should be awarded to the photographer with the best portfolio of wildlife images. One lucky shot shouldn't earn the title of Nature Photographer of the year in my humble opinion.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Firmware Update 2.0.3

Canon has announced that the long awaited, video-related firmware for its EOS 5D Mark II will be available from mid-March. Firmware version 2.0.3 enables full 1080p HD video recording at 24, 25 and 29.97fps to match the PAL and NTSC broadcast standards. It also adds a new histogram display while shooting movies and allows users to manually control sound recording levels. Audio sampling frequency has also been increased to match broadcast material standards.
Press Release:
Canon adds 24 and 25fps HD Movie recording 
to the EOS 5D Mark II with Firmware 2.0.3
London, 2nd March 2010 – Canon today pre-announces the release of a firmware update for the multiple award-winning EOS 5D Mark II. Originally announced in late 2009, the update adds 24* and 25 frames per second (fps) recording to the camera’s EOS MOVIE video function, and will be available as a free download from the middle of March.

Developed following feedback from photographers and cinematographers, Firmware 2.0.3 further enhances the EOS 5D Mark II’s excellent video performance. The addition of new frame rates expands the camera’s video potential, providing film makers with the ability to shoot 1080p Full HD footage at 24fps (actual 23.976fps) – the optimum frame rate for cinematic video. 25fps support at both 1920x1080 and 640x480 resolutions will allow users to film at the frame rate required for the PAL broadcast standard, while the new firmware will also change the 30fps option to the NTSC video standard of 29.97fps. 

A new histogram display for shooting movies in manual exposure, shutter-priority (Tv) and aperture-priority (Av) have been added, and exposure modes will also be available in movie mode. Improved audio functionality will allow users to set sound record levels manually using a sound-level meter displayed on the LCD screen. The audio sampling frequency has also been increased from 44.1KHz to 48KHz, providing the optimum audio signal typically required for professional or broadcast material.

With its full frame CMOS sensor and compatibility with Canon’s wide range of premium lenses, the EOS 5D Mark II is already recognised for its outstanding HD video performance. Launched in September 2008, the camera immediately created a wide range of new possibilities for photographers and videographers, and the addition of new frame rates and manual audio levels extends those possibilities even further – allowing movie makers to shoot stunning movies to suit practically any creative purpose.
Extreme sports photographer Richard Walch was one of the first to be given the chance to use the newly updated EOS 5D Mark II to shoot the snowboarding movie “I Love My Friends”. Commenting on the EOS 5D Mark II’s video performance, Richard said: “The addition of the new frame rates opens up a whole new range of possibilities. If you’re a cinematographer, independent film maker or just enthusiastic about making your own movies, get out there and give it a try”. 

“I Love My Friends” shot by Richard Walch on the EOS 5D Mark II with the new firmware includes a look behind the scenes video is available to view at http://www.canon-europe.com/eos5dmarkII. 

The firmware will be available to download from mid-March from the Canon website http://www.canon.com/eos-d/